Disappointment swept across the Aviva Stadium on Sunday as Ireland were beaten in their own backyard following a ruthless English display, led by captain Chris Robshaw.
It was a war of attrition on a rain-drenched pitch and the Red Rose handled the conditions - and the pressure - better than their more experienced opponents.
One of the more obvious reasons Ireland succumbed to their first loss of the Six Nations campaign were their numerous, simple handling errors. Admittedly, the weather conditions were torrid, but some of the errors were basic.
As Ireland captain, Jamie Heaslip has a responsibility to lead from the front, and the Leinster man unfortunately did so on this count as he dropped two or three relatively straightforward catches to hand the visitors the initiative, while also conceding a couple of penalties.
It was poor concentration and a failure to adapt to the conditions, with England coping much better despite the additional psychological burden of trying to end a 10-year hoodoo in Dublin.
Another contributing factor to Ireland's loss was a lack of a plan B - or a sufficient contingency plan - with injuries to key personnel in key positions unravelling Ireland's chances of getting a result.
Simon Zebo was replaced by Keith Earls, who did an adequate job, playing a role in a rare first-half forage into England's half - at least one which looked menacing.
But Jonathan Sexton's injury did much more harm to Ireland. Veteran fly-half Ronan O'Gara came into the fold and struggled to come to terms with the ferocity of the match.
The 35-year-old, capped 135 times, struggled with his kicking, was swallowed up by the English on numerous occasions in possession, and missed a vital kick in final 10 minutes.
In fact, one of England's strength was the quality of their cavalry which could be introduced from the bench. It was a key part of their victory. Had ice-cool Owen Farrell suffered an injury, Toby Flood was ready to step into the fold - not a veteran fly-off with limited international playing time recently.
And Northampton Saints prop Dylan Hartley was a more than capable replacement for Joe Marler. When Stuart Lancaster decided Billy Twelvetrees had exhausted all his energy, in stepped the ferocious Manu Tuilagi.
Both sides had something to prove. England were riding the crest of a wave after emphatic wins against world champions New Zealand and Scotland. A trip to Dublin was a test of their title credentials - and Lancaster's men passed.
While there were lingering doubts after last week's win in Wales. Rob Howley's men were low in confidence following a run of seven straight defeats, while Kidney's side beat a tired Argentina in the autumn. This was a big test of their potential - and Ireland failed.
The 2009 Six Nations winners may have shown more attacking intent, but England got the basics right, and in a war of attrition which are defined by the smallest of margins, it was the telling difference.